Indonesia 2014

<Jubilee Indonesia Team 2014>

Good Afternoon.
My name is MJ, I am one of many deacons of this church.   I run a small company called Soap Companion.   We make sell provide handmade soap to tackle issues in public sanitation.
Since last year, this Mission Trip to Indonesia for me was mainly about implementing our idea on sharing business experience, soap making skills to the people in impoverished country.  So in 2013, on my first visit to North Sumatra, Pastor Sangmin, myself and two other members of Jubilee built a soap team and have taught mothers in 2 villages, Sendayan and Tele Mekuk, how to make organic soap.  It came out to be a small success, since mothers in both villages started their soap business in this past February.   That news made me cry and That also had led me to visit Indonesia one more time, to provide more advanced level of soap making, which includes product we sell here in Korea as well as body wash product.  That was my main focus.

<Day 1, Namo Serit>

As you can see, I am a very work-oriented person, not relational at all.   My primary focus was on doing the work; I was going as the “soap man.”   Whenever I had a chance to introduce myself, I presented myself as (SETENGAH MAN, SETANGA SABUN) Half Man, Half Soap.   My role, it was about educating people on how to make soap and improve sanitation. There was nothing on my agenda for making relationships with people.  I didn’t see too much importance in building relationship.
But Our God is a God of relationships.  He turned my focus from the work itself to the people I was working with.   SPECIALLY my brief encounter with, a girl from Sendayan, shifted my focus.   I didn’t realize that this lesson of learning more about our relational God would span over my first and second trips to Indonesia.

<Day 2, 
Bintang Meriah>

We were in Sendayan on Thursday, after soap making class which was awesome, so great.   I was mesmerized by the quality of education I had given to the people.   A girl came up to me asking a question. But the question was not about soap.  She said.
"Where is Miss Karen?" "Where is Miss Christine?" "Miss Minhee? Miss Cynthia, Miss Amanda, Miss Lauren,  Mr. Sangmin & Evan?"
I was blown away.   Because she was asking about all the Jubilee Members from last year.   She remembered us all by our names.   I felt really sorry, really awkward.   You know how, you meet a person, and that person remembers your name but you don’t.   It gets awkward.   But being a treacherous man, I shift the topic by, “Oh, so good to see you once again.  Do you have Facebook?  Let’s be Facebook friends.  How do I find you on Facebook?”
and that was how I got her name.   Her name was Reili Christina.
But she was keep asking where is Miss Karen, so When I told her that everyone wanted to come, but couldn’t; and that Ms. Karen had moved to the United States.    At that news, Christina started to cry with group of her friends.   So I told her, “Well, I am here!”  which didn’t do anything, so I said, Well, Hana, Hana Hwang from last year is here.   The girls were so happy that Hana came, and they all ran off to see Hana.   That was one of the most loneliest moment of my past 30 some years life.   But anyways, that is not important, who am I? half man, half soap. It is all about teaching.

<Day 3, Teluk Meku>

Next day, Friday, We came back to Sendayan, and After my 6th and last soap making class, which was awesome, so great, I was mesmerized by the quality of education I have given to the villagers.    I came back to the community center, where we were about to have a Joint Worship Service.   It started at 4 pm and ended at 9:30 pm.   Everyone was tired and ready to go home.   Then, we were informed that  something happened.   There was a motorbike accident occurred on the afternoon, and one teenager is severely injured.   The kid is not in the hospital, but the one is at home, and we were asked to visit the house, pray for the patient and the family.   I was tired, and little afraid, to see what horrible thing could ever happened at the crash.   But we walked towards the house being good Christians.

<Day 4, Food for the Hungry Office in Sendayan>

The houses in Sendayan is not really in a good condition, it’s semi-permanent, very shanty.   We got in, it was past 9:30, dark, gloomy, with family member gathered around in this one room, there lays a patients on the floor, in the middle with band dressings and blood stains.   People with gloomy faces, it was very sad and quite.   I think it was our interpreter, Bram, who asked the question.  “Do you guys know this girl?”   A Girl?   I took a glimpse at the patient on the floor.   Well, guess what?  It was Christina.  The girl I met the day before.
So when Bram asked, 'Do you guys know this girl?', Hana was like 'Yes, of course, Christina, Reili Christina.'   What is so grateful about that moment was that, we as a team from Jubilee coming all the way from Korea,  but we recognized her, we knew her, we knew her by name.   That I believe that broke the ice, I felt it has brighten the air.   And strangely we with the family members began to have conversation.

<Jean & Laura's Maternal Hygiene Education in Sendayan>

Pastor Dave asked Taeshin to go the vehicles to pick up First Aid Kit, and Hana and I sat next to Christina.   She was in pain, but we both knew what Christina like, what she wanted.  She wanted to see us, our team members from Jubilee.   So I pulled out my phone and showed her all photos I have taken with our team.   With Pastor Sangmin and I taking handsome twofies, making soap, making candle, Amanda from EUC CAMP, Minhee at the Cafe Ecclesia, Cynthia, Lauren, Karen, Evan, Adrienne, Casey and everyone.  And Christina enjoyed and began to smile.   And then we learned more about her family, about her father, about her mother and how the parents brother in law passed away, and that made all the cousins to move into Sendayan, there is this big family living together in this one house.   How they struggle to send 5 kids to school, the problems in finances, the dramas in the family and community.  We began to really understand them.
Then Taeshin came back, with the First Aid, and since it was our last day, we were able to give everything we had . We prayed for Christina, we prayed for her family.  and I told her to get better soon, because I want to come back next year and see her once again.  As we came out, headed back to the vehicle, I realized, I would never ever be able to forget Christina and her family.  That Friday night was a night of realizations, that our God is relational.   We all know, how he came down to earth, in order to related himself to this hopeless people.   And He knows us.   He knows us by our name, and he knows our life stories, our problems, our pains and struggles, our weakness & our secrets.   The Scriptures say that he is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

<Day 5, Sendayan>

I believe Our Lord wants us to be the same.  Interceding, praying for one another.  This will of course  happen within the family and then the friends and then to the church.  But not only within the physical church here in Seoul, but can surely reach our hands to the brothers and sisters in Indonesia.  One of the greatest thing about being a Christian, being sons and daughters of God, is that we can pray.  We can pray for one another, and Our God listens.
In this regard, I would like to end my testimony with the prayer request.   Let us really pray for Christina and her family. Let us pray for the kid, we have met throughout the years, and will meet in the future.   Let us pray for all the mothers we taught, trained and shared our skills and times.  Let us also pray for all the local FH Food for the Hungry staff who works so hard.  But most importantly, Let us pray for our church, Let us pray that this community will be blessed, will be anointed to nurture, to build group of people who are passionate about Indonesia.  Let us bear the fruit of people whose hearts will tremble with the thought on Indonesia.  So we can really serve, give hope, share love. 

<2014 Indonesia, Soap Companion>

With bars of soap, perhaps, we may be able to change the world, one soap at a time.  But with prayers, with interceding and building this TRUE relationships in Christ, we can TRANSFORM the world.   Thy will be done, because Our God is good, and he is the God of True Relationship.  Let’s Praise the Lord, God bless Sendayan, God bless Indonesia.  Thank you.